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TheStreet Open House

Apple Competes With Its Unwritten Future

There's the Apple inside the next 6 to 12 months that can do almost anything it wants and win big. The foreseeable future Apple.

Apple can slum it, selling its products through the dying and inferior Best Buy (BBY). It can produce a cheaper iPhone and take control of global smartphone marketshare. No question.

Despite the fast-grab, short-term easy payoff, these moves would ultimately lead to Tim Cook's departure. But he's not that stupid. As Apple's SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller noted the other day, a cheaper iPhone is not the future of Apple products. We'll see how Apple handles its reseller relationships.

Then, there's the Apple beyond the next year. The 12- to 18- to 24-months down the road Apple. The decisions the company makes today set it up for that period. A period where we still might not have suitable answers, but we'll get more clarity on the question of whether Apple can not only innovate, but remain a socially-dominant, enterprise-prominent premium brand without Steve Jobs.

I'm convinced that, all noise aside, this uncertainty -- this unwritten future -- keeps Apple undervalued and holds the stock back. While nothing's certain, there's a lot less uncertainty in Amazon's future.

Over there, you still have the mastermind, the architect, the disruptor in charge. As far as we know, Jeff Bezos is healthy with no plans to retire anytime soon. There's so much unfinished business. This consistency breeds investor confidence, which provides for the seemingly "nuts" 3,000 P/E ratio.

It's that simple. Not complicated in the slightest. I'm not sure why otherwise intelligent folk such as Weinstein must make it so. Despite what the SEC requires mutual fund companies to tell you, sometimes past performance IS indicative of future results.

These valuation metrics gauge the perceived likelihood a company will maximize long-term potential. Sure, it's a bit Vegas-like, but -- bullish, bearish or otherwise on either name -- you have to admit it's not nuts to put more faith in Amazon than Apple at this point in time.

And now, because we could all use a little of Springsteen, here's some Springsteen!

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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